Golden Century, a staple of Sydney’s Chinatown for the last three decades, has announced it has entered into administration and sadly closed its doors.
The iconic Sussex St eatery was popular for its giant lobster tanks and being a hotspot for politicians and celebs alike, and officially went into administration on August 17. The ABC reports that the restaurant’s owners were unable to sign a new contract, as the extensive COVID-19 restrictions were making it near impossible to keep the place afloat.
Seen by many as the place to go for a well-sauced business meeting or a late night feed, celebs like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Rod Stewart and Anthony Bourdain were known to drop by Golden Century while they were in town. If you weren’t watching the hypnotic slow movement of the crustaceans in the big tanks, or eyeing off the plates of snow crab, Peking duck, and snow crab, you were likely people-watching while sipping a late-night wine.
Golden Century was the great equaliser – you could wander in and see a whole range of people having a feed there, pulling apart freshly-caught shellfish and piling fried rice high on their plates.
Locals and far-reaching fans of Golden Century lit up social media with memories of their times dining in at the Sydney institution, which really makes the news hurt even deeper.
So sad about Golden Century. I think every Chinese-Australian kid of my generation has memories of family dinners, birthdays, celebrations spent there. I remember being a kid on Chinese New Year, running around the shop/cafe in the courtyard below it, waiting for dinner to start
— Naaman Zhou (@naamanzhou) August 20, 2021
Hearing about the closure of #GoldenCentury is like a death in the family. The last time I celebrated my birthday in Sydney we went & had the XO pippies in honour of Anthony Bourdain. They’ve saved countless at 3am from hangover with a late night dinner. RIP.
— Remy Hii (@RemyHii) August 19, 2021
— Danny Clayton (@DannyjClayton) August 19, 2021
Ugh not the Golden Century ????. Been going there since I wore nappies.
Was the choice for nearly every major family milestone — including my 21st!
And will never forget, while working in hospo, post-shift 3am feasts eaten while surrounded by Russian gangsters. https://t.co/gv9w1buLHe
— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) August 19, 2021
I spent so many late nights there and would always spend way more than I could afford. Was cool seeing so many celebs there too. RIP…. Onlyfans….sorry Golden Century
— jared coote (@Jared_coote) August 19, 2021
Administrator Desmond Teng has said that the restaurant has the potential to be “restructured and re-opened” in Sydney once the lockdowns ease, but has also had to let go of 60 staff with full entitlements, which is undoubtedly a huge financial blow for the Golden Century group.
Golden Century administrator Desmond Teng tells me he's confident the iconic Sydney seafood haunt can be restructured and re-opened, possibly in a new location, once lockdowns ease. But confirms he had to "terminate" 60 staff with full entitlements @abcnews
— Peter Ryan (@Peter_F_Ryan) August 19, 2021
Thankfully there’s a slice of solace in this truly trying time, with one person on Twitter giving the hot tip that the irresistible XO Sauce used by Golden Century’s kitchens can be bought from a grocer in Chinatown.
Anyone mourning the loss of Golden Century in Sydney – you can buy jars of their XO sauce from Thai Kee IGA in Haymarket (and they deliver)
— Ben Groundwater (@bengroundwater) August 19, 2021
RIP to a real one, and fingers crossed it can rise from its own ashes when the time is right.